UNDERSTANDING UNITED'S BILLING AND PAYMENT OPTIONS
Monthly bills from United are made up of two separate cost factors. The largest part (70-80 percent) comes from United's purchase of wholesale power from Brazos Electric Power Cooperative (Brazos), which is United's electric generation and transmission supplier. The second is United's distribution charge (20-30 percent), and that represents the co-op's cost to bring electricity from a substation to a member's service location.
What is this PCRF on my bill?
Members may see the acronym PCRF on their bills. This stands for Power Cost Recovery Factor, and United's electric utility rate is designed with a PCRF that reflects the rise and fall in the cost of wholesale power.
Since United is a distribution cooperative, it purchases wholesale power from Brazos, and the majority of wholesale power is generated using natural gas as fuel. If the cost of natural gas goes up or down, it is passed through to United members as an increase or decrease in the PCRF.
Find our monthly updates on the PCRF and how we compare to other utilities by clicking here:
What is Operation Round Up?
Members who signed up for electric service from United are members of a cooperative—not just another utility.
One of the seven guiding principles of cooperatives is Concern for Community. In 1998, United chose to continue that tradition of members helping members by implementing Operation Round Up, in which electric bills are rounded up to the nearest dollar amount. The pennies left over go toward making a major difference in the lives of fellow members and other worthy organizations providing various important services to our service territory.
Individually, the donation is small. Most members will average about $6 a year in donations. Added up, it makes a major difference to service organizations, local charities and members in need. United members are free to opt out of this special program at any time. For more information on this program, click here:
Adding United Community Solar to my bill.
In 2018, United Cooperative Services began commercial operation of its 9.9 megawatt (AC) United Community Solar plant. This innovative energy option provides United members the opportunity to have a solar energy option at a cost-competitive price without the expense of installing or maintaining a system at their home.
United members in good standing can join, and they must be on a general service single-phase rate class with an average monthly net energy consumption above 500 kWh. There is no upfront cost to join, no contract to sign, no insurance required and the potential savings begin the first year members sign up for the project.
Lock in today's community solar rate and take advantage of up to 2 kW of output per billing period (dependent on the overall generation of the solar facility). This community solar rate is locked until 2038. Members are asked to join for a minimum of 12 months, and that the solar subscription is tied to one residential account only. Members must opt out of the program. Learn more about it here:
UNITED'S PAYMENT OPTIONS
To accommodate a variety of member preferences, United makes it easy for anyone to pay their bill.
Mail it in.
The old-fashioned way still works with us. Simply open your bill, write a check, remember the stamp and mail it using the envelope provided.
E-payments are easy with Online Bill Pay.
More and more United members find paying their bills is easier and more convenient with this free service. Online Bill Pay allows members to pay their bills via debit or credit card, and provides direct access to account information that includes 12-month usage and billing history, a detailed breakdown of the current United bill and service locations. You can register for this option by finding the Pay Bill Online section at www.united-cs.com.
Call us or come by your nearest United location.
Cash, personal checks, cashier's checks, money orders, debit cards or American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover credit cards are accepted at any United Office for payment of electric bills. United Member Service Representatives also can accept a payment over the phone with debit/credit cards.
Members also can use our interactive voice response telephone system to make a payment over the telephone after hours. Call us, select "make a payment" from the automated systemand follow the prompts. Have your account number and debit/credit card handy.
Find help with financial assistance organizations.
If you need financial assistance due to an unforeseen circumstance, several governmental or social service agencies may be able to assist you if you are having trouble making your payment for electrical service. Visit No. 11, Financial Assistance in the Rights As A Member section.
Avoid highs and lows with Budget Billing.
Budget billing, using United’s rolling average plan, helps members smooth out the highs and lows of monthly electric bills. By averaging out power usage during the last 12 months, members who set up Budget Billing can have a really good idea how much they can expect to pay each and every month. With the budget bill plan, they can expect to pay less than what the actual billing would have been during high consumption months and more than the actual usage during low consumption months. This option is available to members who have demonstrated a good payment history and who have a fully paid account.
Pay now, use later with prePower.
United's prePower program is a pay-as-you-go plan. Similar to filling your car with gasoline, members that prefer this option pay for their electric usage up front and the daily amount used gets billed and deducted from that prepaid amount. It offers the flexibility to pay for electric service when the member chooses or as their budget allows. With prePower service, members can view daily usage, receive notifications and make flexible payments as often as they like. Certain terms and conditions apply, and members electing this payment option are required to complete an electric service agreement prior to initiation of this service.
New members requesting a prePower account must establish a minimum credit balance of $50, plus any service fees that may be required prior to meter activation. Call or come by your local United office to set this payment option up today:
United also accepts...
- Wire transfers (commercial accounts only)
- Automatic drafts via credit card or bank
- ACH payments from member’s online banking services
- Payments at Western Union locations throughout United’s service area